Rethinking the HPV vaccine
September 26th 2017, 11:07
We've been fed multiple mistruths about the safety of the vaccine, says Rob Verkerk
With people losing faith in pharmaceutical drugs as the primary mechanism for managing health, drug companies are doing their best to expand their portfolios with vaccines.
And for good reason. You can target extremely large numbers in national vaccination programs (and that means big revenues), and you don't bear the brunt of liabilities for any damages you might cause directly.
In most Western countries, including the USA and UK, this liability was transferred from the vaccine industry to governments almost 30 years ago. We, the public, therefore pick up the tab through
With this in mind, let's look at the highly topical issue of HPV vaccination. In the USA, teen and preteen boys are already being targeted alongside girls. In the UK, on average, close to 90 percent of adolescent girls are currently being vaccinated as part of the national vaccination program, but, in some localized areas, there is much lower uptake due to concerns about risks or long-term benefits.
In fact, the main decision-making committee that advises the UK government, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), has recently generated surprise by not recommending the mass vaccination of boys.
The justification for this decision was down to a perceived lack of cost effectiveness. The thinking is that, if most girls are already 'protected,' there will be lower sexual transmission of HPV back to boys. It's just too costly to then vaccinate boys as well for not much additional gain. Also, cancer statistics show that HPV-related cancers in females, especially cervical cancer, are much more common than those in boys, such as penile or oropharyngeal cancers.
But the decision to omit boys from the program, at least for me, leaves a nasty taste in the mouth. That's not because I'm concerned that boys won't be adequately protected. It's down to gender inequality, with girls remaining the primary target, and thus having to bear all the risk that goes alongside vaccination. That's in addition to being the ones who carry the babies, and everything else that goes along with being a woman. (I should confess that I'm a feminist, a position strengthened by being the father of four daughters).
As difficult as the figures are to glean, it's increasingly looking like the frequency of serious adverse effects from the HPV vaccine (Gardasil®9), which itself is a genetically modified vaccine composed of virus-like particles (VLPs) and aluminum, exceeds those of other vaccines. Worse, governments appear to be doing their best, alongside the vaccine industry, to conceal this information. That's led inevitably to the families of vaccine-damaged children coming together to tell their own stories.
My friend and colleague Tim Reihm from the Alliance for Natural Health USA has been meeting and interviewing people who claim to have been affected, both in the USA and the UK, over the last year or so as part of a documentary he's been making. The situation is tragic, especially when you factor in the degree of dismissal from the medical profession, which continues to buy the line that the vaccine, now in its third iteration,
The problem is that we're dealing with a situation that we—or, rather, they (the vaccine industry, governments and the medical establishment)—understand only partially. They tell us HPV is a dangerous virus that is a cause of cancer. They don't tell us that we've co-evolved alongside this family of viruses, including the so-called high-risk HPV 16 and 18 strains, over millions of years. They don't tell us that most of us carry the virus at some stage or another, and a significant number of children acquire the virus from their mothers during vaginal, but less so during cesarean, deliveries.
Should we push even harder towards C-sections and subject ever more babies to a greater risk of long-term health problems because their immunological competence wasn't allowed to develop the way nature intended? And that competence has a lot to do with our need to be exposed to pathogens, the vast majority of which are not only good for us, but necessary for resilient good health. Then they try to cover up all the bad things that the HPV vaccine can do to our children, without telling us that if we could reduce their sexual exposures as pre-teens and young teens, we'd resolve the big problem of high transmission rates of HPV at this crucial time when the immune system is developing.
The bottom line is we've been fed multiple mistruths about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, the natural history of HPV and the way we and a host of microbes interact. Our increasing desire for sterility is at risk of becoming one of the greatest threats to our health.
How long will it be before we hear more of our doctors saying that vaginal deliveries, breastfeeding, minimum exposure to antibiotics and other drugs, healthy diets based on a diverse range of mainly plant foods, along with plenty of outdoor activity—and let's not forget a life full of fun and love—are by far the best therapies for our children?